If there’s a job in the National Hockey League that seems daunting in the extreme, Don Cherry thinks it’s the task of figuring out who is faking it and who isn’t.
“I feel sorry for referees,” Cherry said during a segment of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada.
Players seem to be embellishing to draw calls, which Cherry attributes to the lack of fighting in games these days. “The funny thing is, there’s no more fighting,” he said, but players are instead “whacking” each other with their sticks.
“You should be happy, you sweethearts that don’t like fighting,” he said. “But let’s see what’s in the game now.”
“The guys really put it on,” Cherry added, explaining that it’s become almost impossibly difficult for referees to determine whether a penalty is warranted.
“Referees don’t know what the heck’s going on,” he said. “Is the guy really hit or is he not?”
“He brings the right one up as if he’s hurt,” Cherry said.
“Referees don’t stand a chance,” he added. “They don’t know who’s faking and who’s not faking. It is too tough on them right now.”